Saturday, December 23, 2006

Pacers 100, Hawks 90: Hawks get Jacked Up

The Pacers started out hot and handled the Hawks with a strong defensive effort and timely shooting, 100-90. Here is a recap from Mike Wells. What else:
  • Stephen Jackson was indeed the difference maker stepping up at both ends of the floor. Jack's 27 points wiped out Joe Johnson's 31 point effort for the Hawks allowing the Pacers to win other match up areas. Johnson only scored nine second half points and had a face full of Jack down the stretch.

  • Big Thirst enjoyed his first trip back to Atlanta as a Pacer. He obviously has a lot of love for his former team and saw that love reciprocated with a warm reception line just prior to the opening tip. Al struggled a bit in the first half but settled down and really produced in the second half, reminding the locals of what he can do.

  • Darrell Armstrong gave Salim Stoudamire a masters level seminar in hard work and hustle at the NBA level. For some reason, Salim Stoud brought his pouty, too cool for you act to the NBA. He could get away with that junk in college 'cause the kid can flat out light it up from distance. But DA saw a kid unwilling to get dirty last night and started running and diving for loose balls headed Stoud's way. DA was able to pilfer four of 'em making Stoud look slow, silly, and not entirely interested in the game he was playing.

  • With Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith, and Zach Pachulia the Hawks seem to have a lot of pieces to a quality NBA team puzzle. They're just a little young and dumb at times, playing with an inconsistent effort. They are fun to watch, though, and definitely an improving team.

  • JO wasn't on top of his game, still battling a lingering bug. He ended up in the locker room at one point to tap an IV for a little extra fluid. No worries, he still manage a routine double-double.

  • The Hawks hung around most of the night thanks to the Pacers poor free throw shooting. The Ps shot 50% missing eleven charity stripers.

  • The Pacers jumped to two games over .500 and finish up a back-to-back at home tonight against Minnesota.

(Photo: Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

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